The Canadian Opera Company’s 2011 production of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi was one of the most spectacular operatic productions I have seen to date. Everything from set to symbolism was carefully considered and brilliantly executed. Continue reading Review: Rigoletto (Canadian Opera Company)
The Canadian Opera Company’s
production of Iphigenia in Tauris
by Christoph Gluck
was a bold experiment in the use of minimalism in opera. I say bold because most seasoned opera-goers are more accustomed to over-the-top rather than understated. The curtains come up on a completely black stage, the only contrast added by black-clad dancers writing the names of the members of the House of Atreus on the wall in white chalk.
Continue reading Review: Iphigenia in Tauris (Canadian Opera Company)
There is no such thing as “the audience” in Machina Nuptialis (Corpus). The dancers are the wedding party and we are the wedding guests. If you are terribly bashful and would balk at being invited to dance or provide a light to a man wearing only white boxer briefs, this show is not for you. However, if you are like me and love the opportunity to ham it up with the officially retained performers and also enjoy scantily clad men, you will be in your element and have a great time. Continue reading Review: Machina Nuptialis (CORPUS)
Written in 1984, White Biting Dog is a psychologically complex modern day classic. Canadian Playwright Judith Thompson cunningly reels us into a world of social travesty and irreconcilable emptiness. Based on the comments we heard behind us from certain ladies of a certain age, I don’t think this show is appropriate for sensitive audiences. Continue reading Review: White Biting Dog (Soulpepper Theatre Company)
I must confess I was woefully ignorant about the civil war in Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002 and the exploitation of child soldiers during the conflict prior to seeing Nkkami.
Continue reading Nkkami (Soothemysisters Productions) 2011 SummerWorks Review
The Particulars and in General opened with a pipe organ recording of the hymn “God Who Fills All Life with Goodness”, often sung during morning prayers at my Anglican high school. It closed with a recording of Pygmy yodeling. The play is comprised of two monologues back-to-back, telling the stories of lives weaving around one another but never connecting.
At first, the second monologue appeared a total non sequitur to the first. The connection was soon revealed however, to quite humorous effect.
Continue reading The Particulars and in General (Pyretic Productions) 2011 SummerWorks Review
Stitch is a one woman show about an oxy-addicted, single-mom porn-star with a mysterious, nagging and worsening vaginal infection of some kind. Throughout the play the infection – which she dubs Itchya – speaks to her; inciting self-hatred and convincing her to make foolish decisions.
Cara Gee as Kylie Grandview does a credible and professional job with the script she was given. There was no set, limited props and one fairly basic costume used during the entire performance. Minimalism was an effective choice for this production. Continue reading Stitch (Dependent Theatre Projects) 2011 SummerWorks Review
The truth of the matter is I had a hard time focusing during Gravestone Posse. My mind went on a walk-about, straying to supper decisions and weekend diversions.
Perhaps this has more to do with the format of the work than the substance. This is not a play, but rather a radio faux-drama that was recorded live for future broadcast. The performers wore costumes appropriate to their caricaturized roles but the script was read into microphones. Continue reading Gravestone Posse (The Canadian Space Opera Company) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
The thing I enjoyed the most about Remember, Maggie? is that extraordinary mother-son writing duo Carol Anne and Matt Murray did not feel obliged to tie off all the loose ends at the show’s conclusion.
Remember, Maggie? was a lot like real relationships: painful, funny, unresolved, disquieting and beautiful. In this performance, a sister learns that loving someone does not make them a good person, and that a blood connection does not a sister make. Continue reading Remember, Maggy? (Maggy Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review
A recently widowed Bubby and a mystical young man meet ostensibly by chance in a tulip garden. His mysterious connection to the flowers helps to ease her grief and their instantaneous connection eases her weariness with the onerous imposition of familial obligations at the shiva.
Continue reading Through the Tulips (Branch Out Theatre) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review